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HOW A PRENUP CAN EASE THE BURDEN

Harjit Rait, a partner in LCF Law’s Family Law team explains how drawing up a prenuptial agreement  can avoid lengthy arguments and acrimony later should the worst case happen.

As a family lawyer who supports all types of couples through divorce, ranging from individuals dividing complex assets, through to couples trying to agree on issues arising involving their children’s care or even pet care arrangements, there are several key elements of which individuals should be aware.

For many, the ‘no-fault’ legislation introduced in 2022, which means married couples can now divorce without assigning blame, has made the process more straightforward.

However, the popularity of prenuptial agreements, also known as prenups, has helped separating couples manage the consequences more smoothly nowadays. These are now a big part of our work for those entering both marriages and civil partnerships.

More and more couples recognise that it’s sensible to consider the possibility of the relationship breaking down and managing the issues likely to occur from a legal perspective.

Until recently it would be predominantly clients with complex financial arrangements that came to us for prenups. Typically, these people have businesses, larger pensions, more than one property (perhaps a holiday home or a buy-to-let), parental inheritance expectations, and all types of other assets.

Nowadays, we create prenups for more couples. They’re particularly popular with those who have already been through a divorce, who might want to protect what they fought for the first time round or preserve inheritances for their children from a previous marriage.

Crucially, a well-written prenup that has been produced by an experienced solicitor in good time can pave the exit strategy out of a relationship and reduce lots of unnecessary stress and arguments about money. Often the prenup will also keep the divorce out of court, but if it does end up in front of a judge, they will consider a professionally written document that is broadly fair.

However, if the agreement is poorly drafted or if circumstances have changed significantly since its creation, a court may choose not to enforce it, so prenups may need amending in the same way that you update a will.

In most cases managing the process from the outset and thinking about the potential worst-case scenario of a relationship breakdown with a prenup, offers a quicker and more cost-efficient way to finalise the end of a relationship.

Harjit Rait is a partner in LCF Law’s Family Law team.
Contact Harjit on 01943 601 020 or hrait@lcf.co.uk
www.lcf.co.uk

Leeds

33 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RY

0113 244 0876
leeds@lcf.co.uk

Bradford

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New Augustus Street
Bradford
BD1 5LL

01274 848 800
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Harrogate
HG1 1TS
North Yorkshire

01423 502211
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Ilkley
LS29 9LH
West Yorkshire

01943 601020
ilkley@lcf.co.uk

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